Troy Essay

Further information: Homeric Question, Historicity of the Iliad, and Troy VII Portion of the legendary walls of Troy (VII), identified as the site of the Trojan War (ca. 1200 BC). Ancient Greek historians variously placed the Trojan War in the 12th, 13th, or 14th centuries BC: Eratosthenes to 1184 BC, Herodotus to 1250 BC, Duris of Samos to 1334 BC. Modern archaeologists associate Homeric Troy with archaeological Troy VII. [8] In the Iliad, the Achaeans set up their camp near the mouth of the River Scamander (presumably modern Karamenderes),[9] where they had beached their ships.

The city of Troy itself stood on a hill, across the plain of Scamander, where the battles of the Trojan War took place. The site of the ancient city is some 5 km from the coast today, but the ancient mouths of Scamander, some 3,000 years ago, were about that distance inland,[10] pouring into a large bay that formed a natural harbour that has since been filled with alluvial material. Recent geological findings have permitted the reconstruction of how the original Trojan coastline would have looked, and the results largely confirm the accuracy of the Homeric geography of Troy. [11] Amphitheatre of Troy

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In November 2001, geologists John C. Kraft from the University of Delaware and John V. Luce from Trinity College, Dublin presented the results[12][13][14] of investigations, begun in 1977, into the geology of the region. They compared the present geology with the landscapes and coastal features described in the Iliad and other classical sources, notably Strabo’s Geographia, and concluded that there is a regular consistency between the location of Schliemann’s Troy and other locations such as the Greek camp, the geological evidence, descriptions of the topography and accounts of the battle in the Iliad.

Further work by John Kraft and others was published in 2003. [15][16] Besides the Iliad, there are references to Troy in the other major work attributed to Homer, the Odyssey, as well as in other ancient Greek literature. The Homeric legend of Troy was elaborated by the Roman poet Virgil in his Aeneid. The Greeks and Romans took for a fact the historicity of the Trojan War and the identity of Homeric Troy with the site in Anatolia. Alexander the Great, for example, visited the site in 334 BC and made sacrifices at tombs there associated with the Homeric heroes Achilles and Patroclus.

After the 1995 find of a Luwian biconvex seal at Troy VII, there has been a heated discussion over the language that was spoken in Homeric Troy. Frank Starke of the University of Tubingen recently demonstrated that the name of Priam, king of Troy at the time of the Trojan War, is connected to the Luwian compound Priimuua, which means “exceptionally courageous”. [17] “The certainty is growing that Wilusa/Troy belonged to the greater Luwian-speaking community,” although it is not entirely clear whether Luwian was primarily the official language or in daily colloquial use. [18] [edit] Chronology in the search for Homeric Troy

Initially, the layers of Troy VI and VII were overlooked entirely, because Schliemann favoured the burnt city of Troy II. It was not until the need to close Calvert’s Thousand Year Gap arose—from Dorpfeld’s discovery of the walls of Troy VI—that archaeology turned away from Schliemann’s Troy and began working towards finding Homeric Troy once more. [19] [edit] Calvert’s Thousand Year Gap Part of the city’s archaeological chronology occurred during what is called “Calvert’s Thousand Year Gap” (1800-800 BC), a period not accounted for by Schliemann’s archaeology and thus constituting a hole in the Trojan timeline.

In Homer’s description of the city, a section of one side of the wall is said to be weaker than the rest. [20] During his excavation of more than three hundred yards of the wall, Dorpfeld came across a section very closely resembling the Homeric description of the weaker section. [21] Dorpfeld was convinced he had found the walls of Homer’s city, and now he would excavate the city itself. Within the walls of this stratum (Troy VI), much Mycenaean pottery dating from LH III A and III B was uncovered, suggesting a relation between the Trojans and Mycenaeans.

The great tower along the walls seemed likely to be the “Great Tower of Ilios”. [22] The evidence seemed to indicate that Dorpfeld had stumbled upon Ilios, the city of Homer’s epics. Schliemann himself had conceded that Troy VI was more likely to be the Homeric city, but he never published anything stating so. [23] The only counter-argument, confirmed initially by Dorpfeld (who was as passionate as Schliemann about finding Troy), was that the city appeared to have been destroyed by an earthquake, not by men. [24] There was little doubt that this was the Troy that the Myce